So how do we communicate between us?
Well, that’s an interesting question.
We have read about other systems, and interacted with a few. From which we can tell there is quite a bit of diversity in terms of both communication between systems and the presence/lack/shape of any shared internal space.
We have what we have termed segmented memory. (There are probably better terms, but this is what we coined early on before reading others experiences and it stuck.)
That is to say, unless we deliberately share the memory, memory is specific to which of us that is fronting. Basically, we all have an incomplete record of what people would describe as linear time or a chronology.
This is compounded by, or maybe explains the fact that at least two of us do not do “clock time” and that linear time itself is not an entirely solid construct in our world view.
These gaps, well they are something we have learned to live with. Coping mechanisms to cover up what we missed, while not ideal, do mask it pretty well.
So how do we actually share memory?
In a fuzzy sort of way, it’s possible to be given access to stuff. We can get a sense of what happened, but the is a detachment. Like, because we cannot relate the memory to our direct experience, it lacks depth and clarity of meaning/feeling/understanding.
So sometimes the primacy is biased towards the impact of that event on us, and other detail is the fuzzy bit. Other times we have absolute accurate recall of the nature of the event, but the impact of that interaction on us is unclear at best.
Oh, and it should be noted sharing is consensual! We have memories that are specifically not for sharing, for whatever reason. If I try to push it for example, it is rejected, so much so that a continuation will result in being kicked off the front by the group. So, that is not something that we do, it’s fundamental to our stability/survival that we get on and trust each other. (Not that we agree on everything, there’s a joke about musical playlists here 😜, but we have to all pull in roughly the same direction.)
As for communication.
Well, we have been asked more than once (in a good natured curious way) do we talk to each other.
Simple answer is no.
Language is a very useful tool, one which in our verbosity and affection for range of term, more than one of us has a soft spot for.
However, it is always a best approximation, a way of condensing meaning and experience into a narrower and more easily transmissible form.
So, imagine telepathy if you will. Given such a notion, would you use a hundred words and transmit that into the mind of another? Or would, if you could communicate telepathically, transmit the image/taste/concept/feeling directly without condensing it to words and losing that precision?
Well, for us it’s the latter. We don’t talk, it’s clumsy and weird, we share concepts/ideas/intentions/desires.
It’s far from perfect, despite the way it might sound, as I for example may lack the tools/experience/perspective to interpret what is being shared exactly, and vice versa. But that is why we are individuals, if we weren’t we wouldn’t have the problem, but also wouldn’t be plural.
Likewise, it’s why names to us make no sense.
Sure, we understand the need for an external label at the interface with the outside world. (Though, even then if we could avoid names totally, we would.) But internally we do not use them. Those labels1, are there for helping others understand. External people seem to get hung up on which of us is acting at which point and who did what. We cannot get into that. We act as a group good/bad/indifferent and responsibility is a system wide thing, falling into a trap of getting split by outsiders who value one or more of us differently, is a potential destabilisation that none of us want.
So, internally, we don’t call on each other by name/label. It makes zero sense. We each know who we are, and who we are addressing. We can get each others attention just by connecting, not by using an approximation of a written/vocal label that makes no sense on an internal space.
Externally we have a shared system name, but even that is an approximation for that external system interface. But, we are much more comfortable with it than we ever were with anything we were labelled with before. Indeed, there are layers of meaning in there, that I did not put there, but have been shared since with me.
Sometimes, we really struggle with communication. (OK, a lot of the time, and our wife is our external communicator & as close as anyone could be to being part of our system, if only we had the bandwidth/tools.)
Which, we sometimes put down to our autistic adjacent worldview. But we cannot help but wonder how much is the jarring difference between internal/external communication methods and our missing context that comes from the memory gaps.
There’s obviously more to it.
We leave notes/signs in the physical world.
Other tells/tools, that we are still developing.
But although we are an old system, our group awareness/co-operation is still young and developing.
We often use the phrase that trying to describe this is “like trying to explain what green tastes like to a blind person”.
Truth is, even as we get a handle on this, expressing stuff in a way that language requires both compression of experience and commonality of experience, is always going to be lacking.
So that’s the best we can describe at the moment, in the future, who knows.
There’s a post to be written relating to sigils and early system communication at some point. ↩︎